Thursday, September 16, 2010

Child Car Seats: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Your Child Deserves To Be Safe

No parent would intentionally compromise the safety of his or her child. Unfortunately, when it comes to passenger safety, an innocent error can lead to tragedy. In addition, many parents don’t realize that children need the protection of a booster seat until they are at least eight years old.

With the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority’s Child Passenger Safety Week being held Sept. 19-25, 2010, now is the perfect time to think about having your child safety seat inspected. As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, the NHTSA is culminating the week with National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 25, 2010.

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury among children under eight in the United Sates. Despite very high levels of safety seat ownership and virtually universal access to safety belts, adults still take chances with children and do not use these safety systems on every ride. Such inconsistency has led to tragic outcomes, with adults confessing,
“I didn’t think it could happen to my child.”

As a SC car insurance agent, I urge parents not to let it be said too late.  You are always better safe than sorry. Children belong in safety seats until they are eight years old.

Many parents believe that by complying with child passenger safety laws they are providing adequate protection for their children. Those laws, however, do not specify the type of safety restraints needed for the child and how to use it properly. In fact, most laws do not require child safety restraints at all for children between the ages of four and eight, even though kids in that age group are not yet ready for adult restraints.

Allstate Insurance Company and SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. offer the following information to parents:

  • After determining the kind of car seat you want to purchase, consult your vehicle owner’s manual to verify if your car type is compatible with your initial car seat determination.
  • Parents should read their car seat manual before attempting to secure the seat.
  • Babies should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds.
  • Children at least one year old and 20 pounds may face forward in car seats
  • Convertible seats can be used in both the rear and forward facing positions.
  • Children age 12 and younger should always ride in the back seat of the car
  • Experts say the center position of the vehicle back seat is the safest place for a car seat. In a van, the center row of seats is preferred
  • Never place a rear-facing seat in the front seat of a car unless the passenger air bag can be turned off. The force of the air bag deploying could cause serious injury or death.
  • A car seat should be firmly secured in the back seat of the vehicle. In most vehicles, the safety belt system is used to hold the car seat in place.
  • To secure a safety seat, the belts must be locked.
  • When used for a newborn, a rear-facing infant seat should be positioned at a 45 degree, semi-reclined angle to prevent his head from flopping forward. If necessary, a rolled towel may be placed under the car seat below the baby’s feet to help achieve the 45-degree angle.
  • A front-facing car seat should be positioned fully upright.

About the Allstate Corporation

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®.

**Reminder: Hurricane Season is in full swing! Be sure your SC Homeowners Insurance is up to date and you have Wind and Hail coverage!


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